I don’t know of anyone who hates the beach.
I know folks who may prefer the mountains or the woods (I get that completely) but there is something about the sounds of the waves on the sandy shore, and the breeze from the ocean, and the sounds of the sea fowl, and the way that dolphins swimming parallel with the shoreline inside the sandbar, makes us all smile and bristle with excitement like children.
We simply behold what is, and delight.
I just returned from a few days with fellow soldiers. The team of which I’m a part got to pour into fellow soldiers. We taught skills in communication, stress management, money personalities, personality types and personality patterns, and more.
But most of all, we spent time together sharing and getting to know one another and deepening relationships with one overarching goal: resilience. Being able to take a punch, so to speak, but get back up and keep going. Bouncing back. And recognizing that we don’t fight alone but as a team; therefore, we ought to invest first of all in people.
I was able to spend time with guys whose skills far surpass mine. They are faster, stronger, and more agile. But what our team did, I think, succeed in was planting seeds of spiritual maturation that can take root and bear fruit, both in the short-term and in the long-term, over their careers and future lives.
We enjoyed some seafood in the evening, walked miles along the shores, took in the sounds and smells that the beach affords, patronized some tacky t-shirt stores, bought overpriced coffee, and more.
But it was worth it. Why? Speaking for myself alone, I think it’s because we sometimes need to get away from the familiar to recapture what ultimately matters and why we do what we do. For me (one who tends to prefer mountains and woods and ridge lines), water, sun, sand, and each other are hard to beat.
Salute to the soldiers I’m privileged to serve, the Unit Ministry Team of which I’m a part, my mentors, my family, my unit, and to the Author of all good things.